October 23, 2018

Globalization Is Defeating Extreme Poverty

“Even though world population increased by more than two billion people, the number of extremely poor was reduced by almost 1.2 billion. It means that in the now much-despised era of globalization, almost 130,000 people rose out of poverty every day.

Every one of those 130,000 represents another individual who get closer to a decent life with basic education, access to health care and opportunities in life. This is the greatest achievement in human history.

At the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, the world’s countries set the goal of halving the 1990 incidence of extreme poverty by 2015. This was met more than five years ahead of deadline.

Progress has been fastest in Asia. In East Asia, extreme poverty was reduced from 62 to 2 percent and in South Asia from 47 to 12 percent. But other regions have also seen progress.

In Latin America, poverty was reduced from 14 to 4 percent. The laggard is Sub-Saharan Africa, but even there, extreme poverty has been reduced, from 54 to 41 percent.

That is higher than anywhere else in the world, but it means that extreme poverty is now more rare in Africa than it was in the world’s richest countries at the dawn of the industrial revolution.

It is fascinating that this progress takes place just as many in the West are starting to doubt free trade and global capitalism.”

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